In Fantasy Football, your position is one of the most important factors in how successful your draft is. In this article, I will be analyzing different draft positions and how they affect draft strategy.
Recommendation: RB – RB/WR – RB/WR
If you end up with top 3 pick in the draft, you have a huge advantage against other teams. This is because with your selection, you should choose either David Johnson, Le’Veon Bell, or Ezekiel Elliot. The three are in a tier of their own and are running backs, which is a position that lacks depth.
With your second pick, you should take the best wide receiver or running back on the board, as you do not need to draft a quarterback or tight end this early.
With your third pick, draft the best wide receiver or running back on the board. Just make sure not to draft three running backs, you want at least some balance between your WRs and RBs.
As your draft enters the later rounds, balance your RBs and WRs because given your picks are very far apart, you will not be able to assume certain players will still be on the board when it is your turn to pick.
Mid-Range Pick (4-8)
Getting a mid-range pick might not seem all that great, but it gives you a lot of flexibility. In the first round, assuming David Johnson, Le’Veon Bell, and Ezekiell Elliott have been taken, you should take a wide receiver. You will find consistent top-15 fantasy production from Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr., A.J. Green, Julio Jones, or Mike Evans.
In the second round, unless if Jordan Howard or Melvin Gordon falls, you should take a wide receiver again. With a guy like Jordy Nelson, Dez Bryant, or T.Y. Hilton, you can secure another player who should give you consistent high-level fantasy production. You should draft a running back in the third round because if you wait until the fourth to pick a running back, you are unlikely to have two starting running backs on your team at the start of the year.
Especially in the later rounds, draft for value picks. Your picks are never too far apart, so if you have a sleeper that you don’t want to overdraft, you can usually wait a round instead of picking them too far above their ADP.
Late Round Pick (9-12)
Recommendation: RB – WR – WR
While getting a late round pick does give you a disadvantage, if you make smart decisions, you can have a great draft. With your first two picks, take a solid RB1 and a solid WR1. This will give your team more stability because you have two elite players.
With your third pick, take a second wide receiver. You can get a rock solid receiver here who will consistently earn you fantasy points. You could also take a quarterback here, but the only QB that makes sense this early is Aaron Rodgers.
These are good draft strategies, but they do not apply to all drafts. Despite what position a player is, if you feel like they are the best choice on the board, do not hesitate to pick them. These strategies are simply to guide you into picking a stable team.
With fantasy football sites like Yahoo opening for the 2017 season, a list of potential team names appears to be in order. Below, we have 50 original fantasy football team names:
- Cry Me a Rivers
- Marcus MariGOATa
- The Antonio Brown Note
- Jackin Goff
- Bend it Like Beckham Jr.
- Colin Crapernick
- Hustle Like Russel
- Dak History Month
- Cheeseburger Eddie
- Sweeney Todd Gurley
- Capital Waynes Tax
- Dak Attack
- Dezed and Confused
- Tucker up
- Frequent Flyer Myles
- Beauty and the Beasley
- A.J. 47
- Ballin Kaepernick
- Clowney Fudge Sunday
- Leonard Scorenette
- Like Mike Evans
- Mitch Perfect
- Revenge of the Smith
- Brate & Barrel
- The Dougie Monster
- Easy Brees-y
- Kendrick Lamar Miller
- Kodak Dak
- The Skittles Slayers
- Marcus Mariyoda
- Watt the Heck
- Granny Alex Smith
- Jameis Dave’s
- Fortewenty Blaze It
- The Eifert Tower
- It Ertz Wentz I go to the Bathroom
- Powell to the People
- The Great Blakes
- Bad and Bouye
- Pitch Burfict
- Dalvin and the Chipmunks
- Flute and the Blowfish
- The Real Slim Brady
- Kizer Chiefs
- Blair Walsh Project
- Keenan Peele
Ranking 28 on the FantasyPros Expert Consensus Rankings, (FantasyPros), Paul Perkins is not expected to explode this year. However, the conditions are right for Perkins to have a breakout year.
This offseason, the New York Giants released Rashad Jennings. They have no other talent at running back, so unless if they choose to pick a running back early in the NFL Draft, Perkins will start the season as the clear first string running back. Perkins is likely to receive a high workload, but he will also be running behind good blockers. The Giants had the 20th ranked offensive line this season (Pro Football Focus), but don’t let that fool you. They got their low ranking due to their abysmal tackles. They still have two elite run blockers in Weston Richburg and Justin Pugh.
Perkins is in a good team situation, but he also has the talent to break out this season. In his rookie season last year, he managed 456 yards on 112 carries (4.1 yards per carry). Perkins’ strengths as a runner come from his elite vision and agile cuts. His play style is comparable to a poor man’s Jamaal Charles.
Paul Perkins isn’t necessarily an RB1, but his young age, ideal backfield situation, and potential talent make him a good late-round pick in standard leagues or a sneaky stash in dynasty leagues. Perkins has a good chance of attaining RB2 status next season.
In fantasy football, the hardest position to predict leaders at is running back. Due to poor performances, injuries, backfield turmoil, and poor offensive lines, some of the most highly drafted running backs can disappoint fantasy owners.
Marshawn Lynch, after coming out of retirement, agreed to a deal with the Oakland Raiders last week. He is not officially a Raider because Seattle still controls Lynch’s rights, but assuming he is a Raider next season. Lynch could find himself in a position to be very successful.
One of the biggest concerns with running backs, especially those as old as Lynch, is injury. However, Lynch does not carry large injury concerns. He missed nearly half of the 2015 season with a sports hernia, but besides that, Lynch has only missed one game since 2011.
Another large concern with running backs who arrive is workload. The Raiders’ backfield was a four-headed monster last season consisting of Latavius Murray, Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington, and Jamize Olawale. Latavius Murray, who handled the most carries of the four, left the team in the offseason and joined the Minnesota Vikings. Murray, who served primarily as an early down and goal line back, recorded 195 carries for 788 yards and 12 touchdowns. The 195 carries and 12 touchdowns show the Raiders’ commitment to their early down and red zone running backs. Lynch will likely assume Murray’s role in the backfield, which means he should see red zone opportunities and double-digit carries every game.
Finally, both Lynch and the Raiders have the talent to be successful next year. The Oakland Raiders’ offensive line, highlighted by LT Donald Penn and C Rodney Hudson, was ranked 4th in the NFL last season. Lynch also has the talent to succeed. In 2015, Pro Football Focus ranked him as the 5th best running back in the NFL, even though he ran behind what was ranked the 30th best offensive line in the league.
Due to his offensive line, durability, and athletic ability, if he plays for the Raiders next season, Marshawn Lynch is in position to have a great year. He can be drafted with confidence as early as the eigth round.
On most offseason rankings, Mike Wallace is ranked outside of the top 40. In fact, in many he is ranked outside of the top 50. However, Wallace should be able to return solid WR2/WR3 value for you this season. Last season, despite playing opposite Steve Smith Sr., Wallace finished 21st in the NFL in receiving yards, finishing with 1,017 yards on the season. He also finished 33rd in receptions at 72.
These stats alone suggest that Wallace is being undervalued, but the retirement of Steve Smith should also help Mike Wallace. Last year, Wallace finished second on the team in receptions, falling behind only tight end Dennis Pitta (86 receptions). Wallace led the rest of the rest of his teammates in receiving yards, finishing with over 200 more yards than anyone else on the team. With the No. 3 WR on the Ravens leaving as well (Kamar Aiken, 33 receptions), Wallace could be in for a monster year.
One of the biggest concerns regarding Mike Wallace’s volume could be the Ravens drafting a wide receiver in the first or second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. While that could affect his workload, Wallace should still see plenty of targets in an offense that is losing two of its top three wide receivers. Wallace’s year of experience with Joe Flacco should also help him get a higher target share than any receiver on the team (excluding Dennis Pitta).
Due to his opportunity for many targets and his skills at Wide Receiver, feel confident drafting Mike Wallace as a steal any time after the 8th round.
After a Fantasy MVP performance from Ezekiel Elliott and 1300 rushing yards from Jordan Howard, expectations for a skilled 2017 running back draft class will be very high. However, when drafting, it is important to understand the risk that comes with drafting a rookie and the circumstances that can affect their fantasy performance.
The rookies with the most carries in the 2016-2017 season were Ezekiel Elliott, Jordan Howard, Devontae Booker, Rob Kelley, and Paul Perkins. They recorded 322, 252, 174, 168, and 112 carries, respectively. Ezekiel Elliott led the league in carries, but Elliott was a special case. Howard finished 11th in the league, Booker finished 24th, Kelley finished 25th, and Perkins finished 36th. Howard, Kelley, and Perkins were all picked below the 135th pick of the 2016 draft. Rob Kelley was not drafted. The rookie running backs that are most successful are not necessarily the ones who get picked early, but the ones who get high workloads.
Rookie running backs who are drafted early are not necessarily successful or given carries. After Ezekiel Elliott, the next three running backs taken were Derrick Henry, Kenyan Drake, and C.J. Prosise. Elliott displayed great running ability, but he also was drafted into a great system, where he was able to handle high workloads behind Pro Football Focus’ number one ranked offensive line in the Dallas Cowboys. Derrick Henry, picked in the second round, performed well when he saw action, taking 110 carries for 490 rushing yards. He also caught 13 passes for 137 receiving yards. However, given he was not drafted into a starting role, Henry’s impressive 4.45 yards per carry only translated into 67.7 points. CJ Prosise was also impressive, recording 172 yards on just 30 carries. Despite an average of 5.7 yards per carry, Prosise was not able to produce for fantasy owners because he was drafted into the three-headed mess of a backfield of Seattle. Kenyan Drake was drafted into a four running back system, and only 33 carries due to the quick rise of Dolphins’ running back Jay Ajayi. For a rookie running back to be successful, they need to be drafted into a good situation where they are set up to carry high workloads and run behind a successful offensive line.
While drafting a rookie running back early brings high risk, as seen with Ezekiel Elliott, it can yield high rewards as well. Especially with a draft class with potential NFL first round picks such as Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook and Christian McCaffrey, it is very easy to be tempted into spending your second or third round on a rookie. However, before spending a second or third round pick on one of these players, fantasy owners should probably consider taking a more reliable player instead. Running backs that come without much risk are difficult to find, so an early pick is better spent on a dependable player than an unpredictable rookie. This being said, rookie running backs are still an interesting use of a late round pick. This draft has many running backs with tremendous upside that are worth a 12-15th round pick such as Joe Mixon, D’Onta Foreman, Donnel Pumphrey, and Marlon Mack.